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DVD Review: Closed For The Season

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Closed For The Season is a supernatural thriller distributed by MTI Home Video and directed by Jay Woelfel.

The film’s setting is located in the historic and notoriously haunted Chippewa Lake’s amusement park. For over 130 years myths and urban legends have abounded involving the history concerning the famous landmark.

Kristy (Aimee Brooks) returns to the amusement park to retrieve a teddy bear she had forgotten. Upon entering the main gates, she is quickly caught up in the mind games that the park has to offer. While attempting to escape the madness that ensues, she runs into James (Damien Maffei), whose family is the caretaker of the property.

After being awakened by Kristy’s frantic screams, James befriends the frightened girl and agrees to help her solve the riddles that seem to be plaguing her. Now caught up in the haunting, James quickly realizes that everything Kristy has stated, is true.

Along the way, they are treated to more puzzles by The Carny (Joe Unger) who is their tour guide into madness. Feeding the two with various clues, James and Kristy work to find the exit and escape those that would wish them harm.

The Carny explains to the two that they only way out is to look within for the answers. Not understanding, the two run around the park trying to unlock all of its secrets. What the two come to realize is occurring isn’t exactly what they expected, they must now decide, either to survive the mind freak set before them or become another of the urban legend themselves.

I found this direct-to-video movie intriguing. The plot is intelligently done even though you will probably guess the outcome before the film’s finality; it will leave you trying to figure out the quests set before the two, right along with them.

I thought the cinematography was well depicted, giving the viewer a freaky mystical mesh of deadly consequences to view and comprehend. The CGI was expressive for home video and though the fine tuning could have been a better, such as the opening roller coaster ride, it is above par for the budget in which this movie was filmed with.

I was impressed with the performance of Joe Unger as the Carny, he brought a level of creep to the film that was needed to continue to watch the film as it was meant to. Aimee Brooks as Kristy wasn’t a heroine that I could relate to. I found her acting to be over-dramatic and off cue. In the scenes where she is running, it looks as if she is jogging, throwing of the needed scare feel that the director was going for.

I have mixed feelings about the makeup, in some scenes it was above and beyond what would be expected and in others, such as the rape scene, the makeup on James looks tacky and ill-fitting.

The whole biker scene wasn’t believable in its delivery, lacking any real depth to the performance, nor did the actors bring any credibility to the actions being seen. If it wasn’t for Joe Unger’s performance, the whole scene would have made you groan, but it was needed for the back story of the characters.

The supporting cast includes the Lake Monster (Alex Gabrielson), whose costume was laughable and not well designed; The Smoking Lady (Stephanie Ann Rose) who appeared where you least expected; Hackles, Cackles and Wackles, the three clowns who creep up unexpectedly; the mobsters; the bulldozer driver and even a giant.

The overall outcome is predictable however, the movie is enjoyable just to see what weird and ghostly tricks are going to be used next.

Included on this DVD was the movie’s trailer. The running time was 111 minutes and it was filmed in wide screen format.

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  • Tony Kubrak

    Sounds interesting, though the clowns are not named, I’ll watch it for Bob.